Cryptography is safe at the moment, but there is a great need to build quantum skills

It is too early to sound the death knell for current key cryptography, but there is an urgent need now to build skills in quantum computing. This will ensure that countries have the right knowledge to combat potential threats when the technology becomes applicable in the near future.

This future may continue in the next five years as market players make great strides in this field. IBM, for example, has said that it plans to produce a quantum computer capable of at least recording time 4000 qubits by 2025. IBM said this would push the technology beyond the experimental phase, with organizations able to deploy quantum computers in a timeframe from 2023 to 2025.

John Royce, chief technology officer at Dell Technologies, emphasized that this advance underscores the need to ensure we have skill sets ready to benefit and support the future deployment of quantum computing.

Noting that the technology community was not ready for the rise of cloud computing, he said that there were professionals skilled in traditional programming languages ​​such as C++, but that there was a dearth of relevant skills to take advantage of cloud-native architectures.

Reese said in an interview with ZDNet that companies and universities recognized this and made an effort to catch up.

While the industry has managed to get past it, he urged the need to learn from this mistake and prepare for the next transformation. This will ensure that governments and organizations are ready when quantum computers are commercially available.

He said that the field of technology required a different set of skills because the programming language and construction logic were different. Software frameworks and tool chains were also new, so the technical workforce including data scientists had to adapt and build new skill sets for quantum computing.

Efforts here at least appear to be underway. Dell estimates that governments around the world have committed over $24 billion in research and development investments to create efficiencies around quantum technology.

Rosie said this was significant, given that the industry today only has $900 million in revenue. He added that Asian countries such as China, Singapore and India were among those that started work to build capabilities in the field of quantum computing.

In Singapore, these plans included focusing on security and building quantum secure networks. The government announced last month that Set aside 23.5 million Singapore dollars (17.09 million) to support three national platforms standing under it Quantum engineering program (QEP), for a term of up to 3.5 years.

These aim to enhance the country’s capabilities in the field of quantum computing and ensure that cryptographic technologies remain strong and able to withstand “brute force” attacks.

QEP also included a quantum-secure network that was promoted to offer “fast cipher connectivity” and to support experiments with both public and private organizations. It was first unveiled in FebruaryAt launch, the project aims to enhance network security for critical infrastructures and has 15 partners connected, including ST Telemedia Global Data Centers, Cyber ​​Security Agency and Amazon Web Services.

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policy Heng Swee-Kate said quantum technology could prove to be a “game changer”, as efforts have been made to stay ahead of malicious actors amid a rapidly evolving cyber landscape.

“Strong encryption is key to the security of digital networks,” Heng said. “The current encryption standard, AES 256, has held up, because few have the computing power to use brute force to break encryption. But that may change with quantum computing.”

As quantum computers continue to achieve computing speeds millions of times faster than supercomputers, he said it is imperative that Singapore invest in quantum engineering and research to stay ahead of potential threats.

Roese noted that while the public key Cryptography remains strong todaythe quantitative progression of the presented threat was “real enough” and could pose certain risks in the future.

Personal medical information and some bank data, in particular, that have been permanent records and will remain relevant for 10 years down the road, must remain secured against future threats.

“So the risk is not about the disclosure of information now, but whether it is at risk 10 years from now,” he said, adding that governments would also want to ensure that communications between countries remained secured for decades, where a breach could lead to a sticky geopolitical situation. .

He noted the need for tools to support “agility” in cryptography, which would allow an organization to decide what kind of data should be encapsulated in post-quantum cryptography.

Asked where Dell fits in the quantum space, Roese said the technology vendor is not looking to produce quantum computers. Rather, it was intended to provide the tools and capabilities to assemble what was needed to make these systems viable.

Describing the end state of quantum computers as a “quantum sandwich,” he said Dell has been working with major quantum operators including IBM to determine how best to architecture and pull traditional computer architectures, such as servers, so that they can work efficiently with quantum computers. in depth.

Part of Dell’s efforts here included a Hybrid emulation platform which can enable developers to run quantum applications on classical computing infrastructure.

“There are very few quantum computers being built today,” Rose said. “Putting one into production requires not only the quantum component, but the parts around it, and then you need to power it.”

Dell hopes to drive this by “manufacturing” the innovation and making it usable, he said, adding that it aims to do so through its quantum simulation platform and hybrid quantum engineering systems.

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